We found Simon. He's about 4 inches taller, voice deeper, and...he's been nominated as Village Beat's first grant recipient. En route to Jomo Kenyatta National Airport last year, minds full of memories and hearts exploding, we received a final phone call to our Kenyan cell phone. It was Simon (Kalibo), borrowing a phone from the street, letting us know he made use of the cooking materials we donated to him in hopes he would fulfill his immediate dream: selling hard-boiled eggs on the street as a way to get up and out of Barachi Field, off the streets and closer to his goals of becoming a cafe owner. "I've sold eggs today! I made enough to buy for tomorrow." --Perhaps the best phone call I've received in my life.
Upon return to Mombasa almost one year later, Kalibo has sold enough eggs to get himself into a vocational school (he paid the first semester and a government org affiliated with Unicef picked up the second and third) where he is learning the craft of catering and is housed and fed. He's finished now, and in effort to be competitive (or have any chance of a job) and keep a roof over his head, he must enroll in a specialty course- 'cake decorating'. It's a 2 month-long practice, meeting 4-7pm, where he will learn to create the best frostings, fillings, and colorful lion and Kenyan pop-artist faces and designs you've ever seen. (Picture coming of my birthday cake in 3 months.)
To participate in the course, Kalibo needs 9,000 Ksh tuition, 200 Ksh registration fee, 4,000 Ksh ingredient materials, 1,700 Ksh kitchen utensils, and 1,200 Ksh uniform expenses. That's a grand total of 16,100 Ksh which roughly equals $206 US dollars.
Taking the course allows him meager room and board until December 1, an internship at the local hospital's kitchen, and the prospect of a job come Christmastime. Smiles and updates will be frequent.
Please consider helping us with this project. Kalibo will bake you a cake. :)